Maysa Sitar wins Mitchell Scholarship

November 23, 2020

MSU PLS senior Maysa Sitar has been awarded a highly prestigious George J. Mitchell Scholarship, one of only 12 students honored with the national scholarship.

Maysa Sitar

The Mitchell Scholarship is awarded by the US-Ireland Alliance and pays for 12 American undergraduates to spend a year studying in Ireland. 

Carolina Chavez, Director of the Mitchell Scholarship, spoke of the program’s requirements and process: “applicants must have records of academic achievement, service, and leadership. Finalists normally travel to Washington, DC to interview before a panel but due to Covid-19, the entire process was conducted online. (Founder) Trina (Vargo) and I are excited to see so many impressive applicants from across the United States drawn to the unique graduate programs offered by our university partners on the island of Ireland. Our newly selected class will continue the Mitchell tradition of exploring new perspectives on contemporary issues, building skills, and relationships that will power the US-Ireland relationship in the years to come.”

Maysa is became interested in voting at an early age while growing up in the sparsely populated Upper Peninsula of Michigan. As a sophomore, she petitioned her principal to offer the PSAT, which was not previously offered. As the MSU student body Vice President for Governmental Affairs, she has hosted on-campus debates for local elections, doubled dorm voter registration efforts, and create easy to read, nonpartisan guides for every election. MSU saw a 21 percent increase in the turnout rate for the 2018 midterm elections. Maysa also serves on the task force she advised Michigan's Secretary of State to create to focus on voting challenges by college-aged youth in Michigan. She serves as the first college student on the board of directors for East Lansing's local newspaper and is a representative on MSU's Police Oversight Committee. She interned with a local gubernatorial candidate in 2018 and most recently worked for the DC office of Michigan Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin. Maysa is currently conducting independent research to examine the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on electoral manipulation in countries with regularly scheduled elections during 2020. Maysa will study Conflict Transformation and Social Justice at Queen’s University Belfast.

Maysa is a Social Science Scholar, an Honors College scholar and a finalist for the U.S. Rhodes Scholarship. She is only the fifth Spartan to be named a Mitchell Scholar. 

MSU Political Science senior Jasmine Jordan was a finalist for the Mitchell Scholarship and Rhodes Scholarship as well.